WBGO Radar

Paquito D'Rivera: Paquito D'Rivera Plays The Music Of Armando Manzanero

Paquito D'Rivera hugging Armando Manzanero

Paquito D'Rivera has given us brilliance in both jazz & classical music. He has numerous Grammy awards to back it up. He's celebrated Dizzy Gillespie, his homeland of Cuba and recorded with the Cuban string group Quinteto Cimarron. He's comfortable in small group, big band and orchestral settings, giving clarinet and sax life new turns in whatever he approaches.

For his new recording, Paquito introduces us to the music of Mexican composer, singer and pianist Armando Manzanero, regarded as a primer of the Great Latin American Songbook.

Writer Fernando Gonzalez reminds us in his liner notes that although Manzanero's name is not easily recognizable, his works have been interpreted by artists including Elvis Presley, Andrea Bocelli and Tony Bennett, as well as by orchestras and jazz big bands.

As Paquito explains, "Our intention was to make a recording with Armando that sounded totally different from anything done before. So I think we got it!"

For this date Paquito plays alto & soprano sax, clarinet and tarogato, a Hungarian single reed woodwind. Diego Urcola, who arranged some of the pieces, is featured on trumpet, flugelhorn and valve trombone. Pianist Alex Brown, who also arranged,  Carlos Enriquez on double bass and drummer Antonio Sanchez make up the nucleus, with guests Ariel Lud on bandoneon and Manzanero himself.

Once inside this recording, you'll marvel at the fresh feel of bolero, baiao, tango, Latin grooves and bebop reimaginations as D'Rivera and his friends show a new spirit of this Mexican master.

"Paquito & Manzanero" comes out January 22.

- Gary Walker, WBGO Music Director

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